The parents who tortured and starved 12 of their 13 kids in California will now face 25 years to life in prison as part of a deal with the prosecution.
David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, the reportedly “good Christian family” who held their children captive with chains and padlocks until one of them escaped and called 911, were arrested last year after their kids were found living in deplorable conditions. Now, the “parents” have accepted a plea deal that guarantees they spend at least 25 years in prison.
The two appeared in court on Friday and each pleaded guilty to 14 counts in connection to the abuse case — including torture, false imprisonment, adult dependent abuse and child endangerment.
Louise Turpin, 49, shed tears as she pleaded guilty while her husband, 56, was more stoic.
They accepted a plea deal, meaning they will not have to go to trial. Their children will not have to testify.
While a plea deal may seem like a light punishment given what could have happened in a trial, spending the next two decades, at least, in prison could take up most (if not all) of the rest of their lives. More importantly, the deal means their children won’t have to go through the pressure of a trial and reliving the worst moments of their lives.
According to the parents of David Turpin, their son had more than a dozen children because God commanded the couple to do so. The children were taught via “very strict homeschooling” and they were routinely told to memorize long passages from the Bible. That alone isn’t necessarily a problem, but it shows you the disconnect between their professed faith and their actual actions.
Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin called the case the worst child abuse he’s ever seen.
Hestrin said he met with the children prior to Friday’s developments. He said the children were uniformly pleased that they won’t have to testify.
“I met with all the victims prior to today, all of them including the 3-year-old, and I was very taken by them, by their optimism, by their hope for the future, for their future. They have a zest for life and huge smiles and I was, I am optimistic for them,” Hestrin said.
Optimism is all we can hope for, given that this kind of trauma won’t disappear entirely. At least if these two are out of the picture, the children have a chance of growing up without abusive parents getting in their way. They deserve so much better than the cards they’ve been dealt up to this point.